What Can I Do to Help a Friend Avoid Relapsing?

What Can I Do to Help a Friend Avoid Relapsing?

Addiction relapse is a real possibility that every recovering addict has to be aware of. Every second addict treated for substance abuse is likely to successfully continue the recovery process.

You want your loved one to be among those who successfully complete the recovery phase and continue to remain sober for the remainder of their lives.

And while you can play a role in encouraging the recovering addict to stay away from substance abuse, the ultimate responsibility of preventing a relapse lies with the addict.  A recovery expert or addiction counselor will guide you about the role you can play in helping an addict stay sober.

The most important thing you can do to prevent your friend from lapsing back into substance abuse is to ensure that he continues with therapy. Post-therapy treatment is very important in ensuring that the addict successfully overcomes the urges and cravings to return to substance abuse. Over time, the cravings weaken. However, the danger never fully goes away, and the recovering addict, even though he may consider himself fully recovered, is always at risk.

Addiction counselors prescribe relapse prevention interventions, medicines, and behavioral therapy as possible approaches to keep a rehabilitated addict away from drugs.

You should try to understand your friend’s perspective on what instigates him to take drugs. Let a rehabilitation expert assess his condition and prescribe the best course of action. You need to throw your weight behind your friend’s efforts and encourage him to stay the course. Kind words about the progress made, and gentle reminders about the work that is still left to be done can make a big difference for the addict who can do with all the help he can get.  You can even accompany your friends to follow-up visits to the doctor.

Along with the addict, you should also make an effort to learn about the environmental and behavioral triggers that can cause a relapse. This information will enable you to keep your friend away from such situations, and also prevent such situations from developing. You can keep your friend away from the circle of addicts with whom he used to hang around. Introduce him to new friends, or new hobbies such as reading or working out.

Keep the atmosphere around your friend healthy and light so that he stays stress free.

Along with the do’s, you also need to take care of the don’ts. Don’t even consume alcohol in front of the addict. Even a casual drink of liquor can open the floodgates to addiction. Do not be harsh with the recovering addict. Do not stress the recovering addict’s system by feeding him junk food.

If a relapse does happen, you should take it in your stride. It is a difficult scenario, and succumbing to craving does not mean that you give up hope. Incorporate the learning from this episode and stand by your friend. He will definitely come out stronger.

Long-term recovery is only possible when a relapse does not happen. The Villa Treatment Center can provide you with the necessary guidance and tools to ensure that you contribute to your friend’s quest for sobriety. Call us. 1-818-639-7160